A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to restore the normal heartbeat. It is used in the treatment of life-threatening cardiac conditions. It can be external or implanted in the body. Research carried out by cardiologist Paul Zoll led to the development of the defibrillator.
Paul Zoll was a cardiologist and medical researcher who was a native of the USA. He is referred to as the Father of Cardiac Electrotherapy for his pioneering work in the development of the cardiac defibrillator. His research also led the improvement of pacemakers, and other cardiac devices.
Paul Maurice Zoll was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 15th 1911. Having graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1936 he worked in hospitals in New York and Boston. Whilst working as a cardiologist during World War II he became interested in how the heart responded to the slightest touch.
When the war was over Zoll returned to Boston. He began to develop methods to treat heart attacks without opening the chest. At Beth Israel Hospital in 1952 he restated the hearts of two patients via electrodes on the chest. His discovery led to the development of the defibrillator. The use of the defibrillator became common in ambulances and emergency rooms.
Paul Zoll, cardiologist and medical researcher, became the first person to use electric shock to treat cardiac arrest at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, in the year 1952 On This Day.